Joe and Mika: Brian Williams Shouldn't Be Judged on '1 or 2 or 3 Mistakes'

Susan Jones | February 9, 2015 | 7:04am EST
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MSNBC's "Morning Joe" hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough (MSNBC photo)

( - Yes, Brian Williams made "one or two or three" mistakes, but he should be judged by the entirety of his career, and people should be careful about casting the first stone, the hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" agreed on Monday  morning.

Mika Brzezinski argued that Williams "is one of the few people on the face of the earth who is held to a different standard."

Joe Scarborough said Williams made "bad mistakes," but "we all make bad mistakes."

"Well, it's really tough for us, " Scarborough said on Monday's show. He noted that Williams is not only a colleague but a friend and neighbor, who lives right around the corner.

"I'm just hopeful -- because I can't be objective here -- I'm hopeful that when all of the madness on Twitter, and all of the madness online, and all of the madness that's going on right now -- the investigations that need to be going on, we're not saying they don't need to be going on.

"That when the fury dies down, and when we get through the storm and the decision is made to judge what Brian Williams' future should be -- that that decision will be based on the entirety of his career, and not on one or two or three mistakes.

"Bad mistakes, yes. They were bad mistakes -- and guess what, he says that. We all make bad mistakes."

Scarborough resorted to the Bible:

"One of the verses in the Bible that always -- always makes me a little nervous before I start judging other people is the one that says that you will be judged and you will be given the mercy that you show others.

"I think we should all step back and ask whether we are so perfect that we want to be the ones to cast that first stone. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I'm in no position to cast the first stone.

"Quite frankly, in over a decade of this news business, it is fair to say -- looking straight into the camera -- I've seen a lot, I know a lot, and I know that there are very few people in this industry or in politics that could live by the standard of perfection. Cast the first stone? I would be careful."

Mika Brzezinski said she's "kind of horrified by the pile-on that I'm seeing out there. I guess it's part of the game, and Brian would know that, too.  But it's hard.

"And while, as you point out,  while these errors are very human, and none of us are above them -- I'm also well aware that Brian Williams is one of the few people on the face of the earth who is held to a different standard. And he knows that."

She admitted it's "hard" to be objective, "because we know Brian, we like him and we respect him, and this is in our house, and it's very painful."

Williams, the face of the liberal NBC news network, incorrectly stated multiple times that a chopper in which he was riding in Iraq was hit by RPG fire -- "rounds coming into the air frame," as he once told David Letterman.

Questions also have been raised about some of his reporting on Hurricane Katrina.

"If he exaggerated, if he sort of puffed his chest out a little bit, news people do that, polticians do that, guys do that -- we've all done that at times. And you have to ask the question, where was it done? Was it done on David Letterman, or did he make a habit of doing it when he was reporting the news? Obviously, when he was reporting the news would make it much worse."

Scarborough said he heard someone say on Sunday that an "exaggeration about a helicopter is far less damning to the future of this country than the reams of misinformation that were reported leading up to the Iraq war -- that got us into a decade-long war, when a lot of reporters should have asked a lot tougher questions."

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